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Music for Violin and Piano

Ernest Bloch, C├ęsar Franck, Julien Krein


Includes World Premiere Recording



“Schiff and Grant shape every phrase with ardent sensitivity, lingering or propelling the narratives as they heighten the music's ineffable meanings... Schiff is an exceptional artist, with a shimmering sense of sonority and the ability to find a keen balance between poetry and intensity. With Grant providing his own superb brand of animation, this recording is a meeting of equals.”
Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone [November 2016]
“…remarkably fresh and revelatory recording…an assuredness and crystalline vision which emphasises the sheer joy at the heart of the work.”

“The phrases have space to bloom and, even more impressively, there is an unwavering fluidity which makes the fluctuating moods cohere …“

“There are impassioned exchanges, the accented crotchet ricochets had real brilliance, and there is terrific exuberance at the close. But the overall impression is one of utter joy.”

“Schiff employs a varied timbral palette throughout this mercurial work: vigorous passages have real grit and attack; the G-string tone is by turns dark and gravelly, then rich and soulful; the double-stopping is lyrical; intimate melodies have a beguiling softness.”

“Schiff and Grant build an unbridled intensity: the piano’s roulades sparkle with vibrancy and the violin’s silken thread gleams brilliantly. The conclusion is ecstatic.”

“…details are delivered with the care and sensitivity that characterises the whole of this superb disc.”
Claire Seymour, MusicWeb International [August 2016]
“thought-provoking and mellifluous interpretations … the album blooms with tender warmth and rewarding musicality.”
Cristina Schreil, Strings [May 2016]
“[Zina Schiff] brings new insight to measure after measure … phrases so magical in their shimmering beauty... deeply satisfying... surprising reading of this familiar work. Schiff shows us just how sumptuous a tone she can draw... Strongly recommended.”
Robert Maxham, Fanfare [May/June 2016]
“[a] ravishingly beautiful new recital by Zina Schiff and Cameron Grant… this is a performance [of the Franck] as charming as it is perfectly proportioned. In between, Schiff and Grant bring out all the drama that lies waiting to be discovered in the Allegro and all the improvisatory qualities inherent in the Recitativo-Fantasia... Ernest Bloch’s Violin Sonata No. 2, subtitled “Poème Mystique,” is a real treasure... The gently rocking, quietly mystical quality in this breathless musical gem (Krein's Berceuse) comes across beautifully in the hands of Zina Schiff and Cameron Grant, making it a fitting conclusion to the program.”
Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta [Christmas 2015]
“luscious high voltage...vintage Heifetz.”
The New York Times
"The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical…” [attributed to Albert Einstein]

If the mystic is one who aspires to ascend the highest levels of consciousness, bypassing normal means of verbal communication, music can be a perfect expressive vehicle. Despite being composed at different stages of life, from maturity down to teenage, the Franck, Bloch, and Krein share a spiritual quest. A source of mystery and majesty, a wisp of the ephemeral and infinite, of spirit and body, of boundaries and freedom, these compositions are intrinsically linked, not only by French language, land, and inspiration, but by mystical vision and poetic soul, to that “je ne sais quoi.”

Zina Schiff has performed and recorded on four continents, and her many awards include the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Award, the San Francisco Symphony Foundation Award, and a grant from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music. A Heifetz protege and former student of Ivan Galamian at The Curtis Institute, she won both the Junior and Senior Auditions of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Named one of the “Top Ten College Winners” by Glamour Magazine, Schiff was selected as an “Outstanding Young Artist” by Musical America and honored as a “Distinguished Alumna” by Louisiana State University. Schiff has soloed at such festivals as the Budapest Spring Festival, Aspen, Music from Bear Valley, Mendocino, Sewanee, and Newport, where her artistry was described as “pure perfume”. She has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, WGBH’s Live from Fraser, New York’s WQXR, and Art of the States. Worldwide appearances on television include the PBS Nova program What is Music? where she performed Sibelius’ Violin Concerto on an experimental violin created by Texas A&M professor Joseph Nagyvary. Schiff’s first recording was the score for the MGM movie, The Fixer, composed for solo violin by Maurice Jarre. Her debut CDs with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra were Bach & Vivaldi and The Lark Ascending. Solo discs with Cameron Grant on the 4-Tay label include Here’s One and King David’s Lyre (both featured in American Record Guide’s 1997 Critics’ Choice), The Golden Dove, and Elijah’s Violin. Of her two Naxos recordings, Cecil Burleigh: Music for Violin and Piano was an American Record Guide Critics‘ Choice in 2002 and Bloch: Violin Concerto, Baal Shem and Suite Hébraïque with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was Recording of the Month in 2007 for MusicWeb International and awarded a 10/10 rating by Classics Today.

Cameron Grant joined the New York City Ballet in 1984, became a Solo Pianist there two years later, and was appointed pianist of the NYCB Orchestra in 1998. He has performed all the major “piano ballets” of the company such as the Goldberg Variations and Dances at a Gathering of Jerome Robbins, Davids-bundlertanze of George Balanchine, and Waltz Project of Peter Martins, as well as virtually all the piano concerti of the repertory including those of Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Hindemith, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Grant has been the soloist in premieres of ballets by Richard Tanner, Robert La Fosse, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon, and toured as a featured performer with the company on trips to Paris, Edinburgh, Athens, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Italy, Russia and Denmark. In 2004, he appeared in the Emmy Award-winning Live from Lincoln Center broadcast of the New York City Ballet, as well as being invited to perform atthe Kennedy Center Honors before the President. Grant has performed extensively outside the ballet as well. He was pianist of the Leonardo Trio for 15 years, is active as a recording artist, and appears across the United States and in Europe in concert. As a member of the Grant-Winn duo piano team, he was a prize winner at the Munich Competition and performed 200 concerts in the United States, Canada and Germany. As a soloist, he toured Japan and the Middle East, and made his New York debut at Town Hall. He has recorded for Orion (with Joel Krosnick), CRI, CBS, XLNT, Koch International, 4-Tay and MSR. With Zina Schiff, he has collaborated on seven CD releases.

"In a vision, every energy is rising…Whatever is in every atom, even the smallest, in the least quiver, and all the more so in every organism, every sprout and every living thing, all go and flow, everything is rising…Every inner explorer, every faithful poet, each listener with the Holy Spirit meets all of existence in its ascents, all the more man, all the more nations and their souls, all the more whole worlds, and utterly all the more so, all the worlds and beings.” Rav Kook (1865-1935) (from Shemonah Kevatzim and Orot Ha-Kodesh)
CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
Allegretto ben moderato
Ben moderato: Recitativo – Fantasia
Allegretto poco mosso

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959)

JULIEN KREIN (1913-1996)

MSR Classics
Music for Violin and Piano ZINA SCHIFF

Violin Concertos & Songs Without Words ZINA SCHIFF